Controversial

What’s An Omnichannel Acquirer Look Like?

Most large merchants have visions of omnichannel dancing thru their heads, but having to manage multiple acquirer relationships makes that tough. A European startup called Zooz has solved that problem for merchants in Europe and is now headed to the US. What’s their formula for omnichannel success?

Many retailers use different acquirers to process their online and in-store payments, but such strategies may make it more difficult to create an omnichannel experience for their customers. A European startup called Zooz, which plans soon to use newly acquired capital to expand into the U.S. and Asia, can tie a merchant’s multiple acquirer relationships to help facilitate omnichannel-payments support.

In a recent podcast interview with Market Platform Dynamics CEO Karen Webster, Zooz CEO Oren Levy described how optimized acquirer routing can both boost a retailer’s ability create an omnichannel experience for its customers, and reduce transaction fees as well.

Zooz, whose name represents both an ancient Middle East form of currency and a Hebrew term for “move,” aggregates all transaction data for a retail customer, including online and in-store purchases. In doing so, a merchant could enable customers to pay from their phones while within its stores.

(Jump to 8:32) “Every retailer today has some sort of an omnichannel strategy; not many of them know exactly how to implement it, and I’m  not sure many of them think payments could be the backbone or could be the infrastructure for the omnichannel experience,” Levy noted in the podcast interview.

Indeed, the world is becoming omnichannel, whether someone likes it or not, he added.

(Jump to 10:00)  “You’re going with your mobile phone into the store. Why not just transfer the transaction onto the consumer’s phone and let them check out on their own phone? You don’t even need to have a mobile point of sale. You just shift that transaction over to the consumer while you’re packing the products or whatever was purchased in a bag."

Enhancing the omnichannel experience is only one benefit retailers can expect by connecting their acquirers through a single application programming interface, Levy noted. Such connectivity, or “smart routing,” also can help merchants reduce their transaction fees by routing transactions through the most appropriate acquirer, he said.

If a U.S. merchant accepts transactions in euros, it typically would have to pay a currency-conversion fee. But if it instead routed the transaction through a European acquirer, it could avoid having to pay any conversion or cross-border fees, Levy said. Moreover, if, for example, a merchant uses an acquirer that declines a lot of transactions from customers in a specific region, it could route the transaction instead to an acquirer that has better acceptance rates for such customers, he added.

(Jump to 4:30) “By using Zooz, you’re basically increasing your conversion rates,” Levy said.

To hear more from Levy in the podcast interview about Zooz’s services and growth plans, click here.

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*If you have trouble with the audio player above, click here.

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